June 14, 2024

Binance: New FIRS charges may set Gambaryan free

Breaking: Court remands Binance executive in prison custody over money laundering

Breaking: Court remands Binance executive in prison custody over money laundering

 By Prince Osuagwu, Hi-Tech Editor

Crypto trading platform, Binance has said that the amended Federal Inland Revenue Services, FIRS charges in the ongoing court case between federal government and Binance, will let its detained official Tigran Gambaryan free.

FIRS had brought tax default charges against Binance, Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, both officials of Binance, but their lawyers had consistently argued that both officials are not decision makers in Binance and therefore bears no tax obligation for the company.

However, in a court sitting in Abuja today, the FIRS agreed to revise their charges to serve solely on Binance, through its local representative.

The new charge alleges that among other tax offences, Binance provided services to Nigerians without deducting Value Added tax.

Following the development, Binance has said Tigran will no longer need to appear in court for the FIRS case; meaning that Binance is the sole defendant in this case, going forward.

In a statement, Binance spokesperson said: “This goes to show that both Tigran and Nadeem are not decision makers at Binance, and should never have been detained and charged” .

 Expressing excitement at the new development, Gambaryan’s wife, Yuki Gambaryan said: “I am glad the FIRS charges against Tigran have finally been dropped. This clearly shows that any issues between the Nigerian authorities and Binance can be resolved without holding my husband in prison. I sincerely hope the Nigerian authorities will now see how unnecessary it is to keep Tigran at Kuje. I am praying that they now swiftly drop the EFCC charges against him so that this nightmare can finally come to an end.

“My biggest concern at the moment is Tigran’s deteriorating health and the awful conditions he is being kept in. While at Kuje, he has had a serious infection, malaria, and now pneumonia and to make matters worse, we have no access to his medical records. Despite the fact that he is clearly an innocent man, he is being treated as a dangerous criminal and his basic human rights are being neglected. We really need the US government to intervene more forcefully for the immediate release of an innocent American citizen.

“This has gone on too long and Tigran’s life is at risk. My children and I just want him back so our family can be whole again.” she added

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for June 19th where the application for an order for the enforcement of fundamental rights will be heard. On June 20th the EFCC trial is due to continue.

Since Tigran collapsed in court on May 23rd with Malaria, his health conditions are said to have worsened and Tigran now has pneumonia.

Despite a court order by Justice Emeka Nwite to take Tigran to hospital immediately, the family alleged that it took the prison authorities 11 days to take him for a brief check-up, while not also allowing the results of this check-up at the hospital to be released to them.

On June 4th, 16 US Members of Congress including the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee Michael McCaul wrote to President Biden highlighting that he is a “U.S. Citizen wrongfully detained by a foreign government,” and urging him to do more to secure his release. On June 6th, 108 former federal agents wrote to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to ask him to push for Tigran’s release.